Earlier this year, a completed series of Junior Park Ranger guides was presented during a special event in at the Tori Oso cultural center in Suriname’s capital city of Paramaribo. The purpose of the series is to enhance the awareness of both indigenous and non-indigenous students regarding Suriname’s extraordinary natural richness.
On the banks of the Caquetá River, in Colombia, lives Elías García Ruíz, a member of the Murui Muina indigenous group who collects and cultivates native seeds such as that of the cacay tree (Caryodendron orinocense), which is disappearing from their territory because of selective logging of trees of high commercial value and an alarming advance of deforestation.
The Waurá of the Ulupuene village in the Xingu, Brazil came to us with a problem: their water supply had become contaminated by soybean crop pesticides. These pesticides are carried annually to the rivers of midwestern Brazil, often rendering the water unsuitable for human consumption. The Waurá had one request: clean water drawn from an open deep well with the support of the Amazon Conservation Team.
An important piece of this effort is allowing Waurá youth to experience sacred sites that, until now, have only existed in their imaginations and the stories of their elders. Because of this effort, we were thrilled when we were given the opportunity for ACT to visit Kamukuaká Cave, one of these sacred sites, with several Waurá villagers from multiple generations.
In 1987, my friend Dr. Rob Peters and I were having dinner somewhere in Woodley Park on a temperate June evening. Although I had been involved in tropical forest conservation in Costa Rica, climate change was not a hot topic at the time. Rob, a biologist , began talking about his research. I remember his agitation at the fact that people were not paying attention to what he felt was a looming catastrophe for humanity: the rising temperature of our atmosphere.
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